In a recently published study, researchers evaluated the health of 55,081 U.S. adults aged 20 or more from the last 10 most recent cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1999-200 to 2017-2018).
The survey design and sampling collects demographic, socioeconomic, dietary, and health-related data and standardized physical examination and laboratory studies.
The researchers also had information on adiposity, blood glucose, blood lipids, blood pressure, and clinical cardiovascular disease of the participants.
The researchers found that in 2017-2018 fewer than 1 in 14 adults (6.8%) had optimal cardiometabolic health, characterized by healthy levels of weight, BP, glucose, lipids, and clinical CVD. Also, over a 20 year period they found that cardiometabolic health among U.S. adults significantly worsened.
In 1999, 1 out of 3 adults had optimal levels for adiposity (no overweight or obesity); that number decreased to 1 out of 4 by 2018. Likewise, while 3 out of 5 adults didn’t have diabetes or prediabetes in 1999, fewer than 4 out of 10 adults were free of these conditions in 2018.
Other health disparities that they found were that adults with less education were half as likely to have optimal cardiometabolic health compared with adults with more education, and Mexican Americans had one-third the optimal levels versus non-Hispanic White adults.
The researchers concluded that only 6.8% of U.S. adults had an optimal cardiometabolic health by 2017-2018, which is striking and really problematic. According to the team a complete overhaul of the healthcare system, food system, and built environment is needed in order to address this problem.
Meghan O’Hearn, Brianna N. Lauren, John B. Wong, David D. Kim, Dariush Mozaffarian. Trends and Disparities in Cardiometabolic Health Among U.S. Adults, 1999-2018. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2022; 80 (2): 138 DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2022.04.046
Tufts University, Health Sciences Campus. “Only seven percent of adults have good cardiometabolic health: Most U.S. adults rate poorly across five components of heart and metabolic health, with clear racial disparities.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 July 2022. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/07/220704180921.htm>.